The Old Rectory


Isle of Wight

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An occasional (depending on how busy I am gardening!) comment on beautiful plants or moments as they happen in our garden.

Rosa ' Eyes for you'

By roses382, Nov 13 2015 09:47AM

It was middle daughter's 17th birthday yesterday. Traditionally, I always decorate the kitchen for family birthdays, so, to that end, I hastily picked a bunch of garden flowers. Disorganised as ever, it was nearly dark when I was doing this, and they were haphazardly stuck into the candle holder above the table. One of the things I picked was Rosa 'Eyes for You'. It was still in bud when picked and overnight the Aga-warm kitchen opened them out beautifully.

I planted this rose last winter and it hadn't really done much until now. I had thought it was perhaps a novelty of little garden value, but seeing it now, in mid November, I have changed my mind. It is in full flower; a short growing rose, extremely thorny, but healthy dark green foliage. And the most powerful scent, which, being such a short rose, I hadn't really appreciated until it was cut and in the house. The scent fills the kitchen with summer rosiness, unexpected and most welcome at this time of year.

The rose is a recent introduction and has Rosa persica in it's breeding. It has shapely, pointed cream buds and opens into a fairly loose flower, white at this time of year, but pinker earlier in the season. The surprise is in the intense purple eye (which matches beautifully with Rosa' Rhapsody in Blue', also still in flower and in the arrangement). Very unusual, although I think there are now a few similar varieties coming onto the market.

The only drawback is in the charmless name; generally I prefer my roses to have seductive names such as 'Cuisse de Nymph' or 'Reine des Violettes'. Still, as Shakespeare so aptly pointed out, a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and this one certainly does!

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